Wow, what a journey it’s been to create this little bear!
I’ve already presented my final project, so I feel almost as if I’m cheating by writing this post. I’ll start with the journey to create the bear, and end with notes on the presentation.
As I mentioned in my other posts, I have worked on this piece with help from my grandmother. I don’t think I could have done it without her. I think part of this experience was learning from her and gaining from her experience. While the project called for internet tutorials, I think being able to learn from my grandmother was more valuable. That being said, we did have quite a few clashes of personality, as she wanted to move at her speed and I was still stuck on mine! However, we compromised and moved at a pace that suited both of us.
One area that I was especially grateful for Nana’s help in was in deciphering the instructions. We thought the instructions were good, but they skipped steps and were generally all over the place. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out how to make the bear. I think that, in the future, I’ll be able to read instructions better.
Another thing I learned is that cotter pins don’t produce the tight joints that I wanted, giving the bear a looser, loved look. That worked for the project, but it wouldn’t work as well if I wanted to give the bear away as a present.
Researching trauma for this project brought out a lot of emotions for me, and I was able to deal with those emotions through the artistic process.
I originally decided to have the bear buried in garbage, but the professor pointed out the isolating nature of trauma. That changed my mind. I decided to have the bear alone behind a plinth, and have flashlights pointing to the bear. This was my original idea. A few days before I was going to present, I had the idea of including a little story to go with my display. I thought of this because teddy bears are a fixture in children’s stories. I wanted to add real statements that abusers said to their victims, so I went to the amazing Project Unbreakable for inspiration. It really made the difference, I think.
My presentation went very well, I think. I feel like my classmates understood what I was going for.